The 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is the world's most widely ratified international human rights treaty. It thus provides an ideal context in which to examine the relationship between different cultural values and the interntional community's oft-stated aspiration to achieve universal human rights standards. This volume focuses upon a widely accepted family law principle according to which "the best interests of the child" shall be "a primary consideration...in all actions concerning children." Through a combination of broad theoretical analyses and country-specific case studies the distinguished contributors demonstrate that cultural values are inevitably a major factor in the interpretation and application of many human rights norms.
This paper first examines the use of human, economic and organizational resources in producing social outputs, in terms of the two main forms that resources take: 'stocks' and 'flows'. Based on this framework, several key measures are identified for increasing the availability of resources for the implementation of child rights, including changes in technologies and processes, and the expanded use of 'non-traditional' resources for children.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child has now been ratified by 191 nations. Notwithstanding, securing the principles and necessary legal safeguards remains a difficult achievement. Laws and jurisprudence must be firmly linked to the national reality to avoid them being well-meant placebos.
The seventh Innocenti Global Seminar, held in Florence in October 1996, brought together participants with a wide range of experiences and perspectives to discuss discrimination against ethnic minorities, immigrants and indigenous peoples. The Report emphasizes participation, education and empowerment and calls for systematic attention to be paid to minority populations in all situation analyses.